Let’s BE the Change

Be the change

“We must Be the change we wish to see.” We hear this quote so often. Recently, I wondered if I really understand what it means. Or if I know how to actually go about “being the change.”

I often think about what I want more of in my home, reflecting on what I’d like to see different or better within our family environment. Let me share a story that illustrates one way I “became the change I wished to see.”

My daughter, Abigail, had a tough school year in 5th grade. Math, in particular, was not much fun. Frequently, Abigail would lay in bed at night and tell me that she was worried about a particular class, a particular teacher, or afraid she would forget all the state capitals she’d just named earlier in the evening. Knowing what was happening in her heart and in her mind, I wanted for her to have more self-confidence; a stronger belief in herself and her capabilities. I also desired for our home environment to provide more affirmation for one another.

So I made it a point to regularly let her know that I believe in her. That I know, whatever she is faced with on any given day, she’s going to handle it. I set an intention to provide the confidence for her that she was unable to provide for herself at that time.

This awareness and intention setting on my part helped her inner dialogue change from “I can’t,” I’m afraid,” “What if…” to something much more affirming and reassuring. And her inner shift was made possible through conscious action on my part to BE those very qualities I wanted to see more of in my world.

How about a workplace example.

I was coaching a team the other day. After a couple of activities that surfaced undesirable aspects of the team’s dynamic, someone said, “They just need to stop talking and do more listening.” This was followed by a few more comments of what “they” need to do. I asked if anyone was familiar with Gandhi’s wisdom of “being the change” and what did they make of it. We used the opportunity to, individually, write down the 1 or 2 qualities that we each most wish to see more of in our “world.” And to come up with 1 or 2 specific ways in which we could BE that which we most wish for.

For example, qualities desired included: positive, empathetic, non-judgmental, and curious about others. Specific actions identified included: be vigilant in my self-awareness to surface my own negative thoughts and criticisms of others, and to look for opportunities everyday to positively acknowledge a teammate.

This is the opportunity we have each day. To contribute to the desired environment in our relationships, our homes, our workplaces – not by simply wishing for others to change – but by BEING the change ourselves. By taking initiative to create what we want, rather than complaining about what we don’t want.

I want my household to be a more peaceful place, I start by being peaceful.

I want my team environment to be free of blame and judgment, I pay attention to my own blame or judgments (even when they’re unspoken), and I work to release them.

I set intention to let go of what’s undesired and step more fully into what IS desired. When I bump up my level of intention and engagement, I become an active force for the desired change. Rather than remaining a passive force for tolerating the status quo.

We, each one of us, have the ability to impact positive change. Our family, our team, our community, will become the desired family, team, community when each member embodies and personifies the desired change. So let’s – you and I – go first.

What is the change that you want to see in your world? More love? Gratitude? Trust? Forgiveness? Joy?

Let it begin with you.

De is a certified professional Coach, Teambuilder and Facilitator of positive change. She is an adventurer in the world of relationships, blazing new trails of positive expression, resulting in happier leaders, employees, workplaces (and families). Connect with me on Google+

6 Comments

  1. Jessica

    Tue 02nd Apr 2013 at 8:14 am

    I love this idea of intentionally setting and modeling behavior, both with family and work. Having young children, I’m finding this more and more important as they grow and begin to model me. It’s empowering to own our behavior and to intentionally act and model the change we want to see, both in our personal and work lives.

    Reply
  2. De Yarrison

    Tue 02nd Apr 2013 at 8:15 am

    Yes! Our kids learn SO MUCH from us. Much more than we can imagine. Intentionality in how we show up and WHO WE’RE BEING (quality of our thoughts, state of our heart, etc) is as important, if not MORE, than what we say and do.

    Reply
  3. Tim McHugh

    Thu 03rd Nov 2016 at 11:03 am

    Great Post! It reminds me of a great quote I heard from a recent movie “Tomorrowland”… “There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is: which one wins?……..The one you feed.
    Creating the right environment is essential to the change. I once managed a building with a very negative environment. It didn’t take long for us realize the problem. We stopped playing shows like Jerry Springer on the break room TV, turned on some up-beat music and found ways to celebrate the things we should be proud of. It was amazing how quickly the environment changed!

    Reply
    • De Yarrison

      Thu 03rd Nov 2016 at 11:13 am

      Tim!! I recall the quote from Tomorrowland. Yes, what will we feed today? What will we “nourish” and give life to through the way we focus our time, attention, energy? All things become possible when we choose to feed light and hope! Thanks for the reminder and for commenting!

      Reply

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